Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Check out short interview - videos increase visitor engagement

Last week I had a chance to talk with Mr. Gunnar Lier, editor in chief of Inspired by his presentation at Open Nordic and eZ Conference in Skien, I asked for a short interview. Unfortunately Tero's memory card just ran out before I thanked for sharing his insights. Well, here it is - thank you Gunnar, please feel free to add comments you may have afterwards.

But how can you measure visitor engagement? You can use this awesome model of Eric Peterson or, of course, you can start with more simple metrics like:
  • visits per unique visitors
  • page views per visit
  • video downloads per visit
  • average time on site
  • frequency of visits
It's also interesting to compare different kind of visitor segments. For example: do visitors who watch videos convert better or spend more time on site than visitors who don't download any video content? As you can see from the picture below, I had my only visitor peak so far when I published my first home made video interview.

There has been some discussion (e.g. around BBC's iPlayer) that do we have enough network capacity if we are spending more and more video content? Well, that's another story - we have to wait and see how media consuming changes...

One thing I do know: my big brand new TV has been used pretty much by my oldest daughter Mona, and I'm spending more and more time with social media in the evenings. OK, I watch sports of course, but this is why marketers have to measure everything, especially effects of offline and online advertising.

In some point I'll be writing about tracking social media. Check out also this very cool breakdance video from eZ Awards show. You can do this too...after 7 years of practice. Way to go! : )

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

One year of blogging - benefits and experiences

Happy birthday Pete Box of Analytics, this is the first anniversary post of my blog! One year old is learning to walk, step by step. I would like to know how you feel about the new name of the blog? At least I think it's better than previous "My work at Naviatech". Tell me your thoughts.

First of all I can say the year has gone quickly and it's been fun, but also hard when you have a company to run and two small kids. Thank you, my ladies, for putting up with me when the husband/dad is playing with his blog mostly on weekends. And thank you sys and Mr. Ed for reviewing my texts once in a while. Now it's time to look back and analyze what has happened in a year. There has been:
  • 30 posts - 2,5 posts per month
  • 26 comments - 50 % of my own
  • visitors from 41 different countries
  • over 2,000 visits and 1,200 visitors - average 5 visits per day
About metrics: I think page views and bounce rate are not good KPIs for these kind of blogs. Length of the posts has defenitely an impact on time spent on site. I really look forward to getting my hands on Google Analytics for Blogger.

I could try to find the visitor peaks by using the standard deviations but it doesn't make sense here because my blog has gained a little continuous growth of visitors. I did found out that these following posts have brought more than 25 visits per day:
Where are my blog readers? Well, I'm not that good in geographics and English is not my native language (as you have probably noticed) so I have to confess that I don't know a country named "not set" it like free for bids or not named yet? : )

This blog started like a harmless test with no specific goals in mind. I have managed to share some information and experiences, but I would like to get more comments though (especially my Finnish friends who represent more than 80 % of the visitors). Please share your ideas with me and the content to other people as this blog is under Creative Commons licence.

Avinash Kaushik wrote one month ago a very good post about benefits of blogging. I agree every point. One of the biggest advertising agencies in Finland don't have a clue how to monetize blogging, butI have to say that one of the biggest benefits for me has been indirect sales. One big corporate hired me as a consultant and case SEA LIFE had something to do with their decision. And most of all, I have learned a lot while working with our customers, researching and creating stories.

Recently I have developed my blog by adding:
  • rich content including photo gallery and video
  • search functionality by Google custom search
  • tags and keywords
  • feeds
You can now sign up to my blog feeds and get the information about latest posts by email. Now I can get the stats by Feedburner and I humbly ask my blog fans...I mean my blog readers (Avinash Kaushik may have fans) who have already ordered the old version of feeds, to sign up again. It takes you only couple of seconds and you will have more feed options to choose (go to right top corner).

Here are my public goals for the next year:
  • one post per week, not necessary long stories
  • increase visits more than 100 %
  • one comment per post (excluding mine)
  • one hundred subscribers
  • public speaking gigs (billable and non-billable)
Most of the comments I have received, so far, have been positive. I would really appreciate your honest feedback and certainly like to know what YOU think I should write about. Please comment this post or feel free to send me an email. And remember to stay tuned!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What's the value of top rankings in search results?

Almost right after case SEA LIFE I managed to get one public SEO case too. These previous posts about search engine optimization relate to this article:
In my opinion, search engine optimization is one small, but very relevant part of web analytics. Instead of putting money constantly into paid search to get some visibility, you can optimize your website for certain keywords. This was the basic idea when IMS Talent, an executive search and HR development company (B2B), decided to use my search engine opimization knowlegde.

In this case we have used the Google Analytics for measuring visitors, sources, keywords and website goals of the customer. IMS Talent got visitors with right keywords, but were paying them by using Google Adwords. We selected a handful of keywords in September 2007, based on Google Analytics and Adwords data we had. We started working with one search term first, so that IMS Talent's people, as a content owner, could get the idea of optimization work needed.

The very first search term was "executive search" ("johdon suorahaku" in Finnish) and this time getting the top spot in organic search results was pretty easy. We succeeded to get #1 position in Google in the end of April 2008. All it needed was just content optimization, although it took some time for customer to make those recommended changes. From technical point of view we added extra features to Navia CMS, so that IMS Talent could write unique titles and URLs to each web page they wanted to optimize.

Now we have managed to get much more traffic with "executive search" ("johdon suorahaku") and "direct search" ("suorahaku" in Finnish). But what's is the value of getting the top ranking in organic search results? Getting people to your website is not enough, you have to convert the visitors and you have to measure those conversions. And you need to get the money in your web analytics reports for counting the value of top spots in search results and SEO.

In this case one website goal is the contact request. Unfortunately, the data tells that we should do some concept design and landing page optimization. Anyway, IMS Talent can easily count how many new deals they have got by this certain keyword. These could be their KPIs for first SEO project (analysed by non paid traffic and compared to other segments):
  • visitors by keyword (or growth of visitors by keyword)
  • bounce rate of landing page (optimized for keyword)
  • page views by keyword
  • average time on site by keyword
  • conversions by keyword (e.g. contact requests)
  • sales from contact requests by keyword
  • return on investment (sales divided by costs of SEO)
  • conversion rate by keyword (contact requests divided by visitors by keyword)
  • value of visitor by keyword (sales divided by visitors by keyword)